Seaweed, not those that ruin our holidays but those that make our dinners delicious and original. Seaweed is an interesting ingredient, not really part of the national gastronomic tradition but this should not a priori make us overlook the benefits they can bring. Especially today when we import even not particularly healthy eating habits from other countries that are less gourmet than us.
Types of seaweed
Let's take an overview of the various types of marine algae, focusing on the most used ones.
L'Kombu seaweed it is brown, has leaves even 3 meters long and once dried in the sun it forms black and thick stripes. It is used as a purifying agent for the intestine and is rich in glutamic acid, a substance that enhances the flavor. There Nori instead it is red, it grows spontaneously and in the Japanese food it is used rolled up with vegetables or fish, as well as being good, it is rich in vitamin A and aids in digestion.
Less known but interesting, even theDulse seaweed, red and originally from the Atlantic, rich in iron and used since ancient times in northern Europe and Canada, coupled with vegetables and cereals. They do not have a name from seaweed but they are indeed, I am referring to the sea green beans, very tasty, good if sautéed in a pan with garlic and oil.
Always among the marine algae we find the wakame, Japanese, brunette and very similar in properties tokombu seaweed, to eat with rice, pasta, vegetables, tofu or fish.
Edible marine algae
As guessed from the descriptions of most known marine algae in circulation, they are good to eat, indeed, they are often rich in precious substances, such as vitamin A, or iron.
Not in Italy but in Japan, Korea and other eastern countries, they have been part of the daily diet for centuries, just as we have fruit and vegetables. Over time they have undergone very few changes and as they were once used, they continue to be eaten with relish and knowledge of the facts.
Marine algae: properties
The Seaweed they are a food that contains a lot of chlorophyll which they synthesize based on sunlight getting to them.
The green ones they grow less deep, the brunettes are present at medium depths, the red ones instead they predominate at greater depths. Most of the types available today come from Japan or Brittany, one of the best known and interesting properties is the ability they have to neutralize heavy metals and toxic elements that we can ingest with food.
Rich in iodine, marine algae are useful for the prevention of thyroid disorders. Even the metabolism is stimulated.
The high content of mineral salts such as calcium, iron, zinc, copper, sodium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus makes these foods very valuable, plus if you do the math, they have many more protein than ground vegetables, on the other hand they are almost fat-free.
The vitamins present in marine algae are numerous, among all spique A and K, and complex B. In the Nori seaweed, we find in particular vitamin B12 in its active and bioavailable form, a real fortune.
Seaweed also helps regularize the intestine, thanks to the fact that they contain mucilaginous substances.
Seaweed for weight loss
Seaweed, rather than making you lose weight, make an important contribution to a healthy and varied diet. Then there are also products based on seaweed that are used for weight control and act as a food supplements. We are very careful to look at the labels and, if in doubt, we ask an expert for advice.
On the market, even online, we find, for example, algae-based tablets, a pack of 250 that can be purchased on Amazon costs 17 euros. They are recommended for those who want to stay fit but better not to overdo it because they can have a laxative effect.
There are numerous recipes based on seaweed that we can not only taste at the restaurant but also cook at home and offer to guests. Among the simplest but certainly not less appetizing for this, there is the salad with Dulse seaweed and bean sprouts. This seaweed has a slightly spicy taste and it is rich in iron but also in magnesium and phosphorus and in proteins.
To cook this salad it takes 30 grams of dulse seaweed, 120 grams of bean sprouts, 100 grams of carrots, 50 grams of shelled walnuts and 1 bunch of watercress. For seasoning, we can prepare a mix with 250 ml of tangerine or orange juice and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce (shoyu)
If you liked this article keep following me also on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram
You may also be interested in:
- Algae in cooking: uses and properties
- Biomass algae
- Marine Litter
- Nori seaweed: properties and contraindications